Bristol Brings It

What a season so far. Despite everything, this year has been on pace to be one of the best in the Northeast. Everywhere I’ve been the conditions have been prime and I’m starting to forget the icecoast mantra.

I never need an excuse to snowboard, and last weekend I had more than enough. My friends Alex and Katie wanted to ride, and I had to make it home for my mom’s birthday. The logical choice was the mountain that was my first Valentine: Bristol.

My last time at Bristol was the day all ski resorts shut down in March 2020. Since then Bristol has changed quite a bit. They expanded their main lodge and added an outdoor patio area.

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Holiday Valley: Social Distancing the Rain

I’m sure most people don’t think of my home — Utica NY — as a ski town. I could go on about the city-owned ski slope and local history, but its true advantage is being located in the middle of the state. Much of the best skiing in New York is within a day trip of my apartment.

Mardi Gras lift

I’m also lucky to have a forward operating base at my parents house in the Finger Lakes. While the rest of the state was getting rain on Christmas Day, Western NY was getting lake effect snow from Lake Erie. With the Bills winning the AFC East and 8 inches of snow on the hill, Holiday Valley skiers were smiling. I left my folks place early Saturday morning with my sights set on Ellicottville.

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Bristol on a Super Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the best days to go skiing. When it’s also your Dad’s birthday, come on, it’s a no brainer. I love coming back to Bristol, the mountain where it all started for me, especially when it’s 100% open. On top of it all, my dad was gifted two inches of light snow overnight.

We met up with Alex at the Rocket Lodge just before opening on Sunday morning.

We started on the Galaxy chair, testing conditions on Upper Universe to Lower Galaxy. It’s easy to get face shots and splashes with small amounts of fresh snow on top of packed powder groomers.

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